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Sunday, June 09, 2013


And in 21 of those games with a Horst appearance the team lost, so in German, they call him "die weisse Pfane."

A iffy season to start compounded by multiple problems. Chase, Carlos, Roy H, Lannan and now Kratz down. Adams signing is starting to look bad if issues keep arising. Not defending Rube here, but everything had to go right for this team to contend not much really did. Aumont failure Horst which looked promising fail. I was hoping Revere would be the second coming of Pierre for this team. Nothing other than Dom emergence not much else has gone to plan.

My first move is to give the Z-man one or two more starts and bring him up and Horst down.

Horst was only the third-worst arm in the bullpen for a month and a half. That's hilarious.

That he and the terrible Bastardo have had the most appearances on the team are a testament to the terrible management/roster construction from the top of this organization right down to the dugout.

I got 28 dollars on Z pitching by June 12

I think I broke my Johnson up in one of them Milwaukee hoes. I heard something pop.

Iceman: Yeah, Bastardo has given up 7 runs all season, and Horst has given up 16. Other than that, they're identical.

I agree the fact that Horst leads the team in appearances is a problem. Also emblematic of the horrible bullpen management, is that Papelbon pitched today in an 8-run game but not in a tied game on Friday night. Brilliant stuff, all around.

Papelbon pitched today in an 8-run game but not in a tied game on Friday night.
Agree,doesn't make a lot of sense.

Read Phils cut DYoung,then I woke up.

If it helps, the Mets were swept by the Marlins for the second consecutive weekend.

Then i read this about Z..."I want to be a starter. I signed here to be a starter,” Zambrano said. “Last year was miserable when I went to the bullpen, I didn't enjoy it. That's why I signed here.”

If that's the case with Zambrano, they should just waive him and move on.

Sounds like one of the young guys ( Bone or Oyd ) will be going to the pen then and Lan & Zam into the rotation.

* Warehouse the young, charismatic 2012 major league home run hitter in LHV in the face of your club losing all hope with a brutally unreliable offense fueled by aging "stars" unable to stay on the field: check
* Cling to the "promise" of a #1 draft pick - 10 years gone - with a severly injured ankle despite hideous plate discipline and defense: check
* Lose a pi88ing contest with Scott Boras and overpay by at least $30mm for a completely useless "closer" who brings nothing to the table to help a drowning team: check
* Sign a bumbling, impotent CF who can't on his best day hit a ball to the warning track, with full knowledge your ball club has an incredibly eroded and failing offense: check
* Demonstrate incredibly bad baseball judgement by stating that players must show "a better approach" at the plate in 2011; then shamelessly and with disgusting and breathtakingly arrogant impunity declare all that matters is "production" in 2013: check
* Give unconditional support to a manager despite years of inane, barely coherent lineup and bullpen decisions: check
* Bury the chances of your employer's ball club for at least 5 years - assuming you get fired in the next 24 months: check

I really hate this Beerleaguer cliche, but it's time:

Season = over

Bring Zambrano up. Hopefully he pitches well and then the Phils try to trade him. That's what I'm doing. I got all caught up in the 5 game win streak and forgot that they are average and can't win the whole thing. Maximize the return on any player this team has.

Happily distracted during all but the Thursday game they won. Glad i missed it.

About the only thing I hope they do after this game is send down Horst and bring up Zambrano.

I just don't know how Zambrano would take to pitching out of the pen although he has no business in the rotation at this point. No Lannan fan but he's a no-brainer over a marginal guy like Zambrano. Even Cloyd/Pettibone are better options at this point.

I could easy see the Amaro brain trust sending down Cloyd though, inserting Zambrano into the rotation until Lannan returns, and leaving Horst on the roster to continue to toil away & fail to even get LHB out with any kind of consistency.

Weakens the team in 2 spots instead of removing a guy who has struggled all year.

To me, the most troubling thing about this FO is how they handle in-season roster management including injuries & which players to call up and when. It is a kind of 'core competence' skill that Amaro and co. have been pretty shaky at least the last 2 years and could argue since Amaro became the GM.

Kind of managerial deficiency that sends up a huge red flag to me when you have guys in charge who can't even apparently do a core competent of their jobs sufficiently.

Cut... Revere hit one to warning track yesterday lol...Of course if it would been man on 2nd and 3rd he would of GIDP..

This is the latest on Zambrano which is exactly a glowing endorsement:

"Zambrano hit as high as 91 mph with his fastball early in the game, but dipped into the mid-80s by the third. He allowed one run on three hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked three, and threw 57 of his 97 pitches for strikes.

By comparison, his average heater velocity last season was 89 mph, and at its peak hit 94 on the gun, according to

Over his last two starts with High-A Clearwater, Zambrano allowed seven hits over 10 1/3 shutout frames. He struck out five and walked four. He also made two prior starts in extended spring training, but statistics from those outings are neither readily available nor particularly helpful.

Wathan said he was pleased with Zambrano’s effort, but that there was also room to improve before the Phillies decide if he’d be an upgrade to their current arms"

Don't see how from these reports that Zambrano is a clear upgrade over Cloyd.


Breaking news

Keith Law of ESPN praises the Phillies for their first several picks (which began with California high school shortstop J.P. Crawford at No. 16)

Jack- you really look like a jackass defending Bastardo's performance as anything but awful this year. This is like the 3rd or 4th time you've used ER/ERA to defend him.

He hasn't been as bad as Horst, but that isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. He's been a bad pitcher this year.

Zambrano profiles as a reliever or nothing. Complicated to put him there as he's apparently building up his arm to start. Love to have him in one of yesterday's 20 inning games. Probably would have been one of the top 3 hitters in either lineup by inning 16.

Hugh: "Zambrano profiles as a reliever or nothing."

This is 100% correct.

Iceman: Jack has been defending Bastardo ever since he declared that he'd be a top SP when he was first called up. The move to the bullpen then had Jack saying he'd be a top closer.

This is not unlike his defense of the great Pedro Feliz right to the bitter end.

Season definitely hinges on Utley and Ruiz coming back as soon as possible and returning to form.

If they can get a solid ~30 games in before the trade deadline, there should be some legit offers out there. Also, good to see MYoung start to hit again, he might even get a couple C level kids back.

Horst was a nice story last season, but scouts never had him more than a fringe prospect at best. Some folks were a bit extreme in their expectations.

lorecore can't wait to have a run of 60-win seasons.

The problem is that Cholly needs a go-to arm to eat a few innings before he brings in a "trusted" reliever. It was Durbin and now it's Horst. If Horst goes, who fills that role?

clout: how does utley/ruiz/myoung leaving at the all star break affect 2014 and beyond?

They are all pending free agents.

Just a correction to: "M. Young is now 8 for 16 with a walk (and no double plays) since taking over the leadoff role, ....."...

Not correct. He had GIDP #13 of the season today, one less than National League leader Matt Holiday.

Is he a valuable trade chip? Not sure. He is a single hitter (majority of which are in-field hits), with very minimal danger.

'the not-so-speedy Young'


Just checkin the record. Last year's high water mark was 6.1.12, when the Phils were +3 at 28-25. Proceeded to drop 6 straight. Including W no. 28, they ran off a 9-19 June, only to have their disembodied ghost of a season heard howling at teh door at some point in September. After dropping 3 in a row in Milwaukee, I am officially wondering if we're looking at the bottom falling out like we saw last June.

It could be much worse....we could be watching the Marlins or the Mets everyday instead.

The National League is terrible, so all the Phils really have to do is hang around .500 and they'll probably stay in serious wild card contention until September. And it will probably no serious moves to acquire younger (and cheaper) talent will be made near the trade deadline.

The team is just going to take off like a rocket when they force Ruiz back early, Howard stays off the DL (injured or not) and Chase comes back rusty. I am sure they will keep serving Dom cookies too and Rube is going to fix up the holes in the bullpen as a buyer after the Break. Maybe Doc will come back and reel off 15 straight wins too.

I seem to recall clout assuring everybody here last year that Howard was going to come back after the break last year and keep being productive for the next handful of years. I am still waiting. I am liking the cynics odds here.

That. Game. Sucked.

Nice play EEW(WWWWWW!)

Too many Phillies fans are schizophrenic. If they sweep the Twins the bandwagon will fill up again. The fact is that 2 games under .500 is not terrible for June 9th, especially with the injuries they've endured.

The Brewers are a good offensive team. The Phillies' biggest strength is starting pitching, they will win a lot of games 4-2 and 3-1, the Phillies don't win many slugfests. The Brewers may have a bad record, but they matchup well against the Phillies. This series was infuriating, but its no reason to give up hope on the season.

Jake, I don't begrudge you your optimism.

"This series was infuriating, but its no reason to give up hope on the season."

Giving up hope is irrelevant until the math says hope is all you have. Probably a couple weeks from that point, on current trends. I'll float with the current regardless.

With such a favorable schedule. This team could easily be a few games behind pirates and heels of braves. But Howard and his knee will kill this team and bullpen will too. 4-2 vs philles and 6-22 vs rest. That's what's brewers record was. So as much as u want to pull for them it is hard when you know exactly what team is. They are who we thought they were!

Ryan Howard is such a drain on this team right now. 1B and cleanup are the two positions where you need to excel on the offensive side of the ball. He's coming up well short on both.

Historical numbers suggest that our current best player in AAA is more than likely an improvement over Howard.

So Josh Fields, Cody Overbeck, Steve Susdorf, Darin Ruf - take your pick. We've been dealing with a team for two months now that where one of them would make the Phillies a better overall team than Ryan Howard.

ditto delmon young, but i just assume everyone already knows that.

Put Howard on the DL, whether he wants to go or not, let his injuries heal. He is not helping the team anyway the way he's hitting.
2 weeks off may help. If not, we haven't lost much by trying.
Adams being unavailable has hurt us as well.

Jake - Standings wise at 31-33 the Phils aren't in terrible shape but if you look at this roster, their health status, and how they have played you have to be hard-pressed to have any kind of optimist ism about their chances to put together 2-3 weeks of really good baseball to get 4-5 above .500.

MG - I share everyone's frustration. I've seen the offensive futility, and the horrible bullpen. I just think that this team is more resilient than we give them credit for. This team reminds me of the 2010 team. Good starting pitching, shaky bullpen, and mediocre offense. When that team went into a serious offensive slump (around this time of the year) the team looked absolutely horrible. They eventually got back to being mediocre (3-4 runs per game, instead of 0-2 runs) and the pitching carried them to a 97 win season. I'm not suggesting that the Phillies will go on an epic run like they did in the 2nd half of 2010, but I think they can settle on a lineup that will average 3-4 runs per game, and if RAJ can improve the bullpen (big if), the pitching can carry them.

A pitching staff with Kendrick, Cloyd & Pettibone is going to carry them? I admire your optimism, but I think I'll stick with pessimism.

Even I wish I had Jake's optimism. And to be honest, I would if they had a healthy Roy Halladay. It would arguably be the best rotation in the NL with Kendrick's rise this year. Rolling out those four guys 80% of the time would give them at least a fighting chance with eight scarecrows behind them playing defense.

But Halladay is gone, and so are the days when the pitching can be counted on to carry the team. The blemishes on this team have increased while the amount of healthy star players has decreased. If the starting pitching continues to be very good, they'll toil around .500. If it falls off, just like last year, so will the team.

Lumping in Kendrick with Pettibone and Cloyd is laughable. He's been worth 2.3 WAR through 13 starts this season. On pace for a freaking 6 bWAR season.

'10 team had at least an average offense even when they dipped a bit that summer and they also got a huge boost at the trading deadline when they picked up Oswalt. No help like that coming externally or internally either.

There isn't a single young player at AA/AAA right now who really deserves a callup right now based on the way they have performed so far this year. Few players who might make the team next spring at Lehigh but hard to see any of them as clear starters at any position.

Agree with Iceman that if the starting pitching remains strong with sufficient contribution from the backend, they will stay afloat around ~.500. If not, the season gets away from them quick even if they aren't mathematically eliminated they will be an alsoran.

It doesn't pay to get too high or too low with this team. Too much age, too many "ifs" and too many stiffs. There will be some good nights and an equal number of bad nights. It's a .500 team, nothing more.

Amaro made a number of mistakes this off-season. To my mind, the biggest was not signing a genuine right fielder.

Must say I felt a lot better with Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth in the outfield, even if they did play poorly at times that year. You have to admit, there is a dramatic gap in upside there. Even with Werth's abysmal average with RISP that year, he outclasses DYak by a mile.

I'd like to believe this team will contend. I think we all would. I just don't see it with this group of guys. The bullpen, injuries to basically all our key core guys (HHU, Chooch), and an outfield that includes Yak trotted out there every day - these things don't inspire confidence.

I wake up another morning and Charlie remains employed.

Must be nice...

The Phils are done with the Brewers, right?

Good news for the Phils. Bad news for the Brewers.

I was just tooling around Baseball Reference for a few minutes and I realized something -- there are a lot of games left. Time to make some changes (whatever they may be) and see if the season can be salvaged.

So the Mets, I see, have the guts to make bold moves, if only to shake things up and to send a message. Too bad we don't have any players who could be sent down or DFA'd.

MR: There is nothing bold about sending ike davis down. He literally forced the Mets into it. Bold would have been sending him down in mid April, not June.

I'm surprised we haven't heard phlipper chime in to brag that Howard isn't worse than Ike Davis since that's basically all he's got left to possibly say for his boy Ross.

something that you think would be a good thing to hear:

In June 2013, Howard has the same OPS as Albert Pujols.

Maybe not, re: Davis, but Amaro wouldn't have done it. Might make RAJ look bad.

iceman touched on good point. Teams that are bad because their pitching is weak but still have a good offense become complete teams vs Phillies because their offense turns any pitching into good pitching.

If only I had signed Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton, and Jeff Keppinger like most BLers wanted me to we'd be in much better shape. Oh, well.

Worley still in minors, would have been cool to face him.

lol "most BLers"

The Atlanta Braves are the only team in the Majors that have used the same 5 starting pitchers all year. They lead the NL in ERA.

Nice article on Joe Blanton from the LA Times:,0,2787957.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29

Blanton is a well-below-average Joe in Angels' 10-5 loss to Boston
Angels pitcher Joe Blanton is rocked for seven runs and falls to 1-10, on pace to become the second 20-game loser in major leagues since 1980. His ERA is 5.87.

I would love for the poster "ruben" to go find 1 single person who wanted to sign all 3 of those guys.

For instance, I pushed for a BJ Upton signing, but wasn't interested in Hamilton($$) and Keppinger(he's Kevin Frandsen).

cut_fastball: That's a really specific checklist.

terry doodle, ter-deroni, ter ter, Terry Jax

You are so right.

Keppinger's mom would rather sign a Hairston then her kid.

"If Blanton is to be believed, he made only one mistake Sunday, a changeup that Ortiz smashed for a three-run homer to right-center to cap a four-run third.

"If I could take back one pitch, it's the changeup to Ortiz," Blanton said after the Angels lost for the seventh time in nine games. "I was trying to make it sink down and away. I pulled it middle-in and up. I made one mistake and it cost me three runs. That changed the complexion of the game."

So what about the pitches that Saltalamacchia and Carp crushed for solo home runs — estimated at 427 and 422 feet, respectively — to straightaway center to open the sixth?

"They were inches from where I wanted them, a get-me-over curve to Carp and a fastball to Saltalamacchia that was maybe more third-in instead of on the corner. Definitely not a bad pitch."

Funny how things don't change much. Blanton would say the exact same thing when he would have one of those game where he got crushed and gave up 2-3 HRs.

lorecore- I think Rube is inadvertently correct. Most BLers did want at least one, if not more, of those guys signed. The outcry for Keppinger was particularly significant, with people like aksmith thinking 3 years was a steal.

Wins by 6 or more: 1
Losses by 6 or more: 11

Great time to be a fan.

"Lumping in Kendrick with Pettibone and Cloyd is laughable. He's been worth 2.3 WAR through 13 starts this season. "

Kendrick is worlds better than Pettibone and Cloyd; I thought that so obvious it didn't need explaining. I lumped them together only in the sense that none of them springs to mind when I think about pitchers who can "carry the team."

I'm up to the task, boys. Everyone know I carried the team in 2011.

Looking forward to the final chapter of Rube's new book next month: "How to Decimate a Franchise in Two Years."

Weird SSS anomaly...

34 PA, .250/.294/.438/.732, 1 HR, 3 2B

56 PA, .235/.286/.275/.560, 0 HR, 2 2B

To me, what we've seen the last 2 years just makes the 2010 NLCS and 2011 NLDS that much more frustrating.

Iceman: Would signing BJ Upton be a bad thing right now? He's played at the same level as Revere so far, and Worley likely gets you Willingham to play RF.

Wait today is an off day??

Ugh those suck during losing streaks.

Free agency is almost like a lottery: very few players who are signed actually work out -- let alone play up to their contract. Bourn & Swisher are pretty much the only FA outfielders playing well this year & even Swisher is underperforming his norms. And this is nothing new. It's the same pattern year after year. But it won't stop teams from throwing tens of millions of dollars at the next list of FAs.

Who exactly was pushing for Jeff Keppinger?

BJ Upton: .158/.257/.277/.534 bWAR: .8)

Ben Revere: .244/.288/.275/.562 bWAR - .2

BJ makes $12,450,000

Ben makes $515,000

Fans would be absolutely killing Upton if he puts up those numbers in Philly. Especially after all the comments I hear about Revere.

Need to edit my posts. BJ Upton's bWAR is -.8. Revere's bWAR is +.2

lorecore- I assume you're joking? He's on the books for five years and the Braves are already discussing sending him to the minors.

Willingham hasn't done a great job this year, either. I doubt he's a difference-maker on this team, though I admit I wanted Amaro to pursue him harder in the off-season.

I think Amaro made the right move in dealing for Revere, and I'll continue to think that no matter how much he's trashed on talk radio. If Revere doesn't pan out at least he doesn't tie the team down financially down the road. There isn't a single FA they could've signed that would've made up for Howard being finished and Halladay going down with shoulder problems.

Jack, I suggested Keppinger and Maicer Izturis, who have both turned into pumpkins this year. I don't know that I'm "most BL'ers" though. Neither guy's struggling would have crippled the team, though, given their price tags.

In my own defense, I also suggested Kelly Johnson, who has put up a 122 OPS+ and 10 HR for the Rays this season.

As for Upton, I don't think anyone alive thought he would crater like he has this season.

Howard, MYoung, DYoung, and Rollins all with OPS+'s from 93-96. Who, if any, has the best chance to not only break 100, but stay above the mark? How about 110? 120?

I can't imagine any other bad teams being as frustrating to watch as the Phillies.

cut_fastball's post above is hilarious. I love it.

I also like Revere and believe he'll improve from his current line (if the team allows him to even play) and wouldn't want to go back and change the offseason to get BJ, but they've both been crappy.

fWAR has them the same (bj 0 revere -.1)

And on the side note, Yes I think hammer would be a sizeable upgrade. He has double digit HR from the right side, has stayed healthy, and putting up his usual .360 OBP - that would be a huge lift to this offense.

"BJ makes $12,450,000 - Ben makes $515,000".

we coulda had 12 more Durbins!

lore - or a few more Delmons!

We're only a Delmon Young hot streak away from contention, guys.

And if the Nats can sweep the Twins, so can us!

Nats only took 2 of 3.

Also, the Twins just swept the brewers in 4 games two weeks ago.

Jack- on the day Keppinger signed alone, NEPP, Joe D, aksmith and A-Train all said they wanted him. And that was after it was revealed he got 3 years.

lore- DYak has 6 HRs in far fewer PAs than Willingham. I don't think HRs are the problem.

I just don't see how Willingham walking and getting on for Kratz/Galvis/Revere/whoever would be a substantial boost to this offense so far. He isn't even hitting .220 and his OPS is below .800. I just don't think he'd be enough. The suck on this roster is too widespread for one player to fix.

I wanted Kelly Johnson to play 3rd and Nick Swisher. But, I was also fine with a deal for Upton that was a lot less than what he got. I don't begrudge Ruben for not spending as much as the Braves on Upton, even if he was hitting his career average 102 ops+.

lore-- Oops, yeah they just swept the double header, I guess.

I think we'll be good again if we can beat the Twins, but we can't since it's interleague.

I also think most BLers interest in Hamilton was primarily because he was the last big bat standing and it looked like he might be forced to sign a short deal (3-$75m). That didn't happen. I don't remember anyone being upset that the Phillies didn't outbid the Angels for Hamilton or the Braves for Upton. THose contracts looked too big at the time and that's bearing out quicker than expected. But, if you want to dig through the archives and find counter examples, go ahead....

Most BLers think I'm a mediocre MLB player.

Can anyone explain why we voided the trade for Wilton Lopez for medical reasons? Considering the number of games Adams has been unavailable...

Mike Adams (34yo) 23 G, 20.2 IP, 3.92 ERA, 1.355 WHIP, 5 HR allowed, 104 ERA+

2yrs, $12 million

Wilton Lopez (29yo) 33 G, 33.1 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.350 WHIP, 2 HR allowed, 130 ERA+

1yr, $1.76 million

The only player the Phillies should have signed last winter was Michael Bourn once his market dried up. The Indians got him for a relative bargain, and he would have solidified CF for us for the next couple years. If the plan was to keep competing, this seems like an obvious move.

Fun fact:

14 of the Phillies 33 losses (42%) are by 5 or more runs.

Wow, last year, the Phillies only had 14 losses by 5 or more ALL SEASON.

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